Sycamore Mayoral candidate Candy Smith submitted this questionnaire, answering the Daily Chronicle's questions in the 2017 Sycamore Mayoral race.
Name: Candy Smith
Office sought: Mayor
1) Why are you the best candidate? .
I was born, raised, and educated in Sycamore and have 18 years of experience with City business. I'm ready to listen to concerns, work to disseminate City information, support downtown development which lends to the City's small town feel, and continue serving this City I am so passionate about...because I care.
2) What should be the top priorities for the community?
Maintain and repair infrastructure, maintain current City services, and work to keep the burden off of property taxes by encouraging new businesses to move here.
3) Did the City Council err when it voted to allow the county to convert a State Street house into a sober-living home?
I believe in second chances and felt this was a great vehicle to give to those who are vetted and want to recover from alcohol and drug abuse. Although, I think the County had a little more due diligence to do before spending tax dollars on this project.
4) What is your position on allowing to county to expand the amount of property it owns in the city?
I was an Alderman when the County first started expanding its footprint for their County campus. At first I was opposed to the purchase of properties, but later learned that many of the homeowners were anxious to sell their property and none of the property sales were forced. I appreciate that Sycamore is the County Seat because there are advantages like the convenience of having their services close-at-hand and County employees patronize Sycamore businesses and restaurants
5) The city’s parking meter system is one of the charms of downtown. However, finding parts for the meters is a challenge, and about half the fines go unpaid. Should the system be changed, removed, or kept as-is? Why?
The City purchased over 100 meters from a nearby community, so we have parts for the time being. I think we should keep the charming, penny meters downtown on State Street and find alternative meters or parking measures on the adjoining streets. Even though they are not sworn officers, I appreciate the uniformed parking attendants downtown as extra eyes and ears for the City.
6) If elected, how would you work to help the city grow?
I would always be open to review commercial and manufacturing developments. For residential growth, I’d like to see the 2,500+ platted lots built out before entertaining new housing developments, but will keep an open mind for unique development concepts.
7) How should the city finance its ever-growing funding obligations to its police and fire pension funds?
I think the City is handling the funding responsibly by making the minimum contributions and reevaluating the contributions each year. We are hoping the market improves to take some of the pressure off of property taxes.